Sighter material

I’ve been encountering complicated lighting conditions lately, where my pink Oni LL becomes hardly visible : late in the day, low sun, whitewater etc. I’m looking at adding a ~15 cm segment of very opaque nylon at the end of my LL as I’ve seen people do but I’m not sure which material to use. What I’m looking for in terms of color is something like the Fujino tenkara soft (orange) – it’s very opaque compared to my LL lines.

There are mentions in other threads of people using a variety of materials but no dedicated thread about the topic so I though I’d create one. So if you’re a sighter type of person, what do you use ?

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I have some #3 opaque yellow monofilament that I picked up when living in China. I’ve used a section of that on the end of both colored and clear fluorocarbon lines at times. It’s much more visible than comparably sized fluoro level line.

Recently, I picked up some of the sighter wax that some of the European competitors are using. But I’ve not used it on the river, and for that matter, just applying some to some line has not impressed me all that much. I need to improve how I’m using it.

Another tip I’ve learned, is that some folks are using a short section of brightly colored 15 pound test backing material as a sighter. In comparison to fluorocarbon level line, it’s very bright, very opaque.

Then there’s using a keiryu yarn sighter at the end of a tenkara main line. I used that on a “white” Fujino 5m line recently when I was nymphing fairly deep. I kept it on even when I was using a dry EHC later on that evening. The sighter was visible in the gloom much later than the fly was, and more than once I struck and caught fish just by seeing the splash near the sighter.

Lastly, I have a UV headlamp that I’m wondering about. It just lights up the fluorocarbon level lines. I just wonder what fish would make of it if used in low light. Would it spook them, or would they ignore it?


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I use 15 lb Amnesia or you can look into this: Tactical Nymphing Sighter


I have been having a similar problem with the same line. The Oni is there primary line I’ve been using for quite a few years now, but the most recent spool I purchased seems more difficult to see.

Additionally, I have a few locations with heavily pressured trout that are easily startled and I have been considering using a clear LL with a sighter.

This is what I’ve been thinking about getting, trying one of each color to see which works best.


I like the Tenkarabum sighter material best. The colors split up by a small black segment and the white ends really help colors stand out and give you options. I like it much better than Rio indicator tippet and amnesia. Amnesia is definitely not opaque enough for my liking. Cortland indicator mono is pretty good as well.


You think the Cortland is better than the Rio? How so? I’ve read the opposite on a few places online.

Does anyone know what the TB sighter is made of our who makes it?

I put TBum material above the others mentioned. Cortland and Rio would be my next level. Amnesia last. I’ve only used the Cortland stuff on my friends euro setup and it looked good to me

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I think the general problem with tying dissimilar materials is that both the join and material will create a disconitunity.

The white spiderwire is awesome for visibility. I use LL too whe vis is not an issue.

If it were me… this is what i would try.

Get some 0000 steel wool.
Lightly abrade the end of you casting line.
Cut painters tape in half inch bands and apply in half inch intervals for 4"
Get a can of white spraypaint and apply a very light coat of paint.

Or use some marine pin striping tape…to do the same after abrading. Try to find the thinest possible. This one may add too much weight. Try to find 1 mil. It comes in every color under the sun.

I think I have read some guys using paint markers to do something similar. Like I note the spiderwire stuff solves this problem for me. It is highly visible. Yes it is a slighly heavier line.

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I find standard fluoro level line to be superior to Rio, Cortland and Jan Siman sighter material when it comes to visibility. All of those surpass Amnesia in either chartreuse or red.

Folks might try something like this. A search for high visibility mono made for the Asian market:号+sun+line+biziburupurasu&i=sporting&ref=nb_sb_noss

@Gressak Wasn’t it you that was going to try some of the high float Asian nylon? Or was that someone else?

Nope not me.

I do not know how much this will help but the Valcan Sanyo FC Stealth Line May be worth a try. I have been using it in tapered leader construction on Floating T-Lines and the Opaqueness shows up very well under water compared to 16 Lb. RIO Steelhead/Salmon Tippet Material. In normal light it is a pale milky green. Under a Blacklight, it glows a bright, pale sky blue - which has not affected its fish catching ability for me in the least so far. In dawn/dusk lighting conditions, the opaqueness really glows. It is available in sizes, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5, and possibly more. TBUM and DragonTail Tenkara are sources. It comes on 50m spools and is a bit pricy. Since this is Japanese made Tenkara Level Line, there are no material mixing issues with this line at all…Karl.


I use 30" of 0.11 Orvis chartreuse-orange-white sighter on all of my level lines. I tried TBUM’s 31" of white, followed by 20" of multicolor (black, orange, black, chartreuse, black), sighter at $8 ~20’. Then I found the Orvis tricolor sighter scheme with 10" chartreuse, orange, and white sections at $10 for 10M or 33’. Though more expensive per foot I’m a bit simple-minded and am able to get more usable material to do more lines with less hassle from the Orvis spools.

The most visible color in the dark is traffic-light green, or 500–505 nm. The most visible color in the daytime is optic yellow, also known as tennis-ball green (555 nm). I’ve been using the DRAGONtail orange lines for 2 years and find they disappear especially when the line and I are both in shadows, and when looking into the sun’s glare on the water. I recently purchased a spool of Yamatoyo Fluorescent Chartreuse level line and when switching between two rods; one with DT orange line and one with Yamatoyo line found that I seem to be able to see the chartreuse (yellow-green) line more consistently.


Found it - it was our fearless leader: @Peder


Hahaha… I’m nobody’s leader @Scott_T. It’s funny you bring that thread back up. First because it’s interesting, to me at least, to see how my setup and practice has changed since then.

I ended up getting rid of both the pink and orange lines. They were great colors, but were only visible in certain conditions, at least for me. The pink line cast quite nicely but would not hold a knot to save my life. Either, I wasn’t using the right knot for the line, or it was the properties of that specific line. I didn’t try long enough to figure out.

The orange line cast horribly with a tenkara rod, so it was quickly relegated.

The other reason it was interesting you bring this up, is this past weekend I was actually telling a good friend about the green line. I found some of it last week and took it out fishing again. It’s really an amazing line. For the conditions where I fish, I can see it almost all the time. The only time I cannot see it, is when it is against a backdrop of green leaves. But it casts like a dream. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, there was no line memory.

The main caveat to using this line is that you cannot have any wind. But, it’s a light nylon LL, so that’s expected. I have to see if I can find the spool again. If not, I’ll be buying some more.

If you’re not afraid of trying out a nylon line, I’d say do it. Otherwise, you can get some and have sighter material for years and years.

Edit: if anyone is interested, you can get some here. It comes in orange and the chartreuse/green.


I’ve decided to abandon the whole sighter concept and just use the fluoro level lines I can see best.

I tried every sighter material I could find, 2 color, 3 color, white, little yarn sighter flags. Nothing ever seemed to be any real improvement,

The Nissin PALS lines are opaque, which I feel is best, but the shade is just a little “dull”. Not best for me. I’ve finally settled on YGK Ultra Sight orange in 2.0, a pink YGK “tenkara line” in 3.0, and a Yamatoyo Level 4.0 in non-opaque but very bright yellow.
I really like Sunline too because of how nicely they cast, but they are not opaque, very bright in the sun, not quite so visible in the deep shade. Luckily much of my fishing is in places where that works.
Or you might try these as sighters, alone or tied together.

Bottom line is you just have to buy a bunch of stuff and see what works best for your eyes and conditions. Whatever you pick just keep it off the water. I truly believe what I can see fish can see, but if it’s off the water it doesn’t seem to bother them.


Not sure if it is the exact same line because I can’t translate everything on the site but Chris carries some on his ultra light spinning site.

Scroll down a bit and you will see the Varivas. I just loaded some of the Sunline on a new reel but haven’t used it yet.

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I should have specified and I forgot, I’m specifically using Sunset Amnesia.


Spot on. I’ve also pretty much given up on sighters. I have a couple on some older lines but generally don’t use them anymore. Most of my tenkara fishing involves #3 FC as it’s as light as I can go but still see it in most conditions. I love #2 FC but I just cant see it well enough to use it most of the time.

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You might try to find the YGK Ultra Sight fluoro. It’s sold in Japan as squid fishing line, which is done at night, and it’s extremely easy to see.

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I’ve been using it for a few years now, but it’s hard for me to see in bright conditions. That’s the #2 FC I use

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